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Author Topic: Digging Holes : The Landmark
digging_holes
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Digging Holes : The Landmark
Part 1 - Meandering Early Childhood Memories (the memories are meandering, not the childhood).

-------

My full name is David Richard Di Giacomo. I was born at 3:55 PM, on October 27th 1982, in the small town of Arthabaska, Québec (Canada). Arthabaska was the birthplace of Sir Wilfrid Laurier, the Prime Minister of Canada from 1896 to 1911 (the one who mistakenly claimed that "the 20th century will belong to Canada"; he's also the face on our five-dollar bills.) And don't bother looking it up on a map, because it doesn't exist anymore. It has long since been merged with the more commercially-known and much larger Victoriaville, in theory as well as in practice.

My dad was the pastor of the minuscule, fledgling local Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada church. My mom was the church musician. The only one. Back in those early years, meetings were held in our mobile home living-room (I remember the vivid red carpet and the red curtains; everything else was beige, except for that fake wood wall panelling that was such a fad about the time I was born). There were about ten people in the congregation. Sunday school was in my bedroom.

I have lots of really fond early childhood memories of playing in the neighbourhood. At that time, it wasn't much more than a trailer park. It was all mobile homes (albeit, with their own yards and everything) with few trees, a garbage dump just a block away, and a lot of nothing, and sheep farms, surrounding it (I've been back since then, and it's grown more into a real neighbourhood, with real houses and lots of trees and such).

Back then, the local garbage dump was our playground. There were lots of interesting things to be found there. I remember peering into the pond surrounded by heaps of garbage, and seeing a broken bathtub down there, as well as other junk. For some odd reason, I remember there being lots of pumpkins just randomly lying around the dump. Maybe this particular memory was right after Halloween or something. We would smash them. It was great fun. The dump has since been cleared away and built over with more homes and asphalt streets. Apparently, there was concern that it was dangerous for pre-school kids. So it's gone now.

It's funny that most of my early memories take place in autumn. I don't know how accurate that is, or if it's just because I naturally associate that season with nostalgia. Picking wild strawberries in the ditches. Playing in the afore-mentioned garbage dump. My mom calling us in to feed us a gigantic (to my three-year-old perspective) slice of bread fresh from the oven and generously topped with margarine (my mom still had the energy to bake her own bread back then, but we couldn't afford butter.) Burning leaves in that giant tin can we had in the back yard. And, of course, like every Canadian kid, playing hockey in the streets. A neighbour of ours even had hockey nets, and we all had hockey sticks. Our neighbourhood war cry back than was "Les Canadiens : Ouais! Les Nordiques : Chou!" (In English, that means, roughly translated : Yay Canadiens! Boo Nordiques!") Of course, back then I had no idea who the Montréal Canadiens or the (now defunct) Québec Nordiques were, but I joined in happily.

The kids who owned the hockey nets were the Morin kids. They lived a couple houses down, on the same street. Their dad was a cop, which means he had guns. He also raised chickens in tiny cages behind his shed. I remember once, while I was there, he decided they were fat enough to eat. He took them out of their cages and let them run loose. Which they did, happily, cluckingly. Then, he took his gun and blew their heads off (I guess he was a pretty good shot). It was the first (and only) time in my life that I actually saw a chicken running with its head cut off (or blown off, in this case). I was deeply impressed, and thought it was the coolest thing in the world. Yeah, I was a sicko.

Another image which is permanently engraved in my memory : the people who lived in the house directly behind ours went horseback riding one day. I have no idea if they owned the horses, but that's not important. I obviously ran over to see, because I had never seen a real horse up close. To me, it looked bigger than an elephant. Which was why I was mesmerised when, just as this young woman was getting on it, the horse breaks into a trot and starts taking a crap. That image of gigantic piles of green (!) horse poop falling from somewhere that I had to crane my neck to see is permanently engraved in my memory.

When I was four years old, we moved out of the tiny mobile home and into a real house. We stayed in the same town. But at that age, the immediate neighbourhood was my world, so it was as big a thing to me as moving to another city. I wasn't sad, though. At that age, I really didn't have any close ties with anyone, so to me it was just a big adventure. Or would have been, if not for what happened on one of the last days of the move.

My parents had a few people from the church helping them move boxes with their cars and stuff. Most of the furniture was being thrown out (there wasn't enough of it to matter anyway), as my parents had decided to get all new stuff for the new house : Ikea furniture that they still have to this day, by the way. But I digress. For some reason, me and my two brothers (one older, one younger : the fourth was only a couple months old at the time), and the kids of the people that were helping us move, decided that it would be a fun game to throw big rocks in the air and watch them break as they hit the asphalt. I can only assume that the adults were too busy to notice what we were doing, or they probably would have stopped us. (Granted, there was nothing wrong with playing in the middle of the street. There was never any traffic in such a small neighbourhood; it's the throwing rocks in the air part that I'm talking about). Well, after a little while of this, I intelligently decided it would be a good idea to go pick up the bigger pieces, and throw them in the air too. So I proceeded to do this. My older brother, oblivious to this, went right on with his gleeful destruction of larger rocks. Needless to say, what happened next was virtually inevitable. I was picking up broken rocks on the ground, he was throwing a particularly big one in the air. It was roughly the size of my head. And it fell right on my head.

The rest is a little choppy. I don't remember actually being hit by the rock. But I do remember running for the house, howling in pain, with blood running down my face. That wouldn't have been so bad, if not for the unfortunate comments that my dad made when he saw me. He was understandably upset, and rushed to look at the wound. Once he had done so, he exclaimed in a shocked tone, "Oh my! It's so deep! There's so much blood!"

This, of course terrified me. I couldn't see the back of my head, but I could well imagine a huge, gaping hole where the rock had hit. Perhaps half my head was gone (you have to remember that at the tender age of four, I was largely ignorant of how heads actually work.) Still, this wouldn't have been so bad. They drove me off to the hospital. I was lying in the car with my head on my mom's knees, sobbing. I had mostly gotten over the initial trauma, and probably would have been fine, until my mom soothingly explained that they were taking me to the hospital and that a very nice doctor would sew it back up.

That's when I started panicking. I had visions of the doctor going through a set of pieces of broken head, selecting one that fit my gaping hole, and sewing it in to make me a new head. So when I was actually lying on the table for them to stitch it up, I was frantic. I screamed and kicked the whole time. It took four nurses to hold me still. I didn't want them putting a piece of someone else's head into mine. Of course, I had no idea that it was actually a relatively small wound, and required only a little stitching. I couldn't see what they were doing in the back of my head. It hurt, of course, but it was mostly my all-too-vivid imagination that was making me panic.

Finally it was over, and my parents and the doctor shook hands, and learned that he was our new next-door neighbour... So much for first impressions.

-----

To be continued....

[ October 16, 2004, 02:43 PM: Message edited by: digging_holes ]

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pooka
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[ROFL]

P.S. great stories. Not laughing at your pain and panic. Well, maybe the panic...

[ October 16, 2004, 02:54 PM: Message edited by: pooka ]

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blacwolve
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I hope it's not bad that I find that story really funny?
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dh
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Of course not. [Wink]
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blacwolve
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In that case...

[ROFL]

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gnixing
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that's just...
i'm on the same page as blacwolve here.

[ROFL]

::imagines dr. frankenstein at work::

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Derrell
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Cool story. [Cool]
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Derrell
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Cool story. [Cool]
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twinky
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This is the beginning of what I'm confident will be a great landmark. [Smile] Plus, who doesn't love road hockey? [Big Grin]
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Lyraluthuen
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Great start, David. I can't wait to read more!
(This is Jani, by the way. [Smile] )

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Dagonee
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Yikes! Understandable reaction. Isn't it amazing how kids can understand too much about the world to really understand something?

Dagonee

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rivka
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Great beginning! *pops popcorn and waits for more*
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ElJay
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Add me to the list of people eagerly anticipating the next installment...
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ReikoDemosthenes
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Great story, David. Me likes. [Smile]
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Narnia
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[Big Grin] This is getting good. [Big Grin]
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tt&t
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[ROFL]

Can't wait to read more, David. [Big Grin]

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Zotto!
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[Big Grin] Me too. Moreplease! Yes, rightthissecond. Phillistine.
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dh
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*swats Jeremy's bad spelling*

And you'll have to wait for the next thousand posts for Part 2.

Also, it may be even longer, because I now have six alternate SNs to spread them out over. [Big Grin]

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ElJay
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What!?!?! Not acceptable. [Razz]
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Dagonee
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OK, we'll have to make up the rest of the story. Maybe the piece of the head sewn on was actually donated by a killer executed in the ELECTRIC CHAIR!
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Teshi
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Um... lemme guess... the cute little four-year-old kid dies!!

[Wink]

Good landmark, dh. Glad you're still with us.

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Stan the man
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Warning: DO NOT drink coffee and read this landmark at the SAME TIME.

ow.....That was great man. Small towns and ice hockey, gotta love it. [Smile]

[ October 17, 2004, 09:39 PM: Message edited by: Stan the man ]

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